Kathmandu to Chame

The road from Kathmandu to Chame takes you to the Annapurna region. Starting from Kathmandu, you will first travel to Besisahar by bus, which is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit. You can take a jeep from here as it is the only way to reach Chame. The road passes through lush forests, terraced fields, and Nepali villages.

As you continue towards Chame, the landscape changes. You’ll enter the Manang district, known for its unique Tibetan-influenced culture and stunning views. Chame is the district headquarters of Manang. It offers a picturesque setting with its quaint village charm and breathtaking mountain views. The trek to Chame is more than a physical journey. 

Kathmandu to Chame by Jeep

You can drive from Kathmandu to Chame to reach the Annapurna region quickly and comfortably. The journey starts from Kathmandu. It follows the Prithvi Highway and takes 6 to 8 hours, depending on the road and traffic. You can hire a jeep-like Scorpio, Nissan Patrol, Toyota Land Cruiser, or Toyota Prado. They are ready for this trip and will customize them to your needs. You can rent a Jeep based on your preferences.

Jeep drive from kathmandu to chame

From Besisahar, the road continues to Chamje. It passes through pretty villages, terraced fields, and lush forests. The road is rough and adventurous. After Chamje, the road has many unpaved and bumpy parts. The journey by Jeep to Chame from Besisahar can take 8 to 12 hours, depending on weather conditions and road maintenance. Traveling by Jeep allows you to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Annapurna region while avoiding the long and strenuous trek. Roads can be challenging. So, hiring an experienced driver familiar with the terrain is advisable.

  • Cost: 45000 to 50000 for a trip

Kathmandu to Besisahar by Bus And Jeep To Chame [Alternative]

Drive to Besisahar from Kathmandu by bus is an adventure as it offers a budget-friendly and scenic route to the Annapurna region. The journey starts early morning from Kathmandu’s Gongabu Bus Park. It follows the Prithvi Highway to Besisahar.

Kathmandu to Chame by bus

From Besisahar, you must change bus and hire a jeep to continue to Chame. The road is rough and unpaved. It passes through pretty villages, terraced fields, and lush forests. 

Traveling by bus allows you to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Annapurna region while immersing yourself in the local culture and way of life. However, the bus ride may feel long and rough. So, prepare for a challenging but rewarding journey.

Why rent a 4*4 Jepp for Kathmandu to Chame?

Land cruiser from kathmandu to chame

It offers many advantages:

  1. Rough terrain and long hours of travel can make a 4×4 Jeep more comfortable than local buses or vans. The Jeep provides more space and often better suspension, reducing the impact of bumps and rough roads.
  2. 4×4 Jeeps are made for rugged terrain. They are a safer option for the journey, especially in the monsoon season. Then, roads can be muddy and slippery.
  3. Accessibility is an issue. Some parts of the Annapurna Circuit route may be inaccessible to regular vehicles, and certain trailheads or villages require a 4×4 Jeep for access.
  4. Renting a private 4×4 Jeep is convenient. It allows for more flexibility in the travel schedule. You can stop for photos, rest breaks, or explore areas of interest.
  5. 4×4 Jeeps have lots of space for luggage and trekking gear. You can bring all you need comfortably.

Planning your Journey

Route Overview

The journey from Kathmandu to Chame, the Annapurna Circuit Trek’s starting point, offers scenic beauty and cultural experiences. Here’s a breakdown of the route:

Kathmandu to Besisahar:

  • Distance: Approximately 173 km (107 miles)
  • Travel Time: Around 6-7 hours by vehicle
  • Highlights: The Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar passes through lush green hills, terraced fields, and rivers.

Besisahar to Chame:

  • Distance: Approximately 66 km (40 miles)
  • Travel Time: Around 6-8 hours by Jeep
  • Highlights: The route from Besisahar to Chame is more rugged and adventurous. You will also travel through small villages such as Ngadi, Bahundanda, Jagat, Tal, and Dharapani, each offering unique landscapes and cultural insights.

Road Conditions

Kathmandu to Besisahar:

  • Road Type: Well-maintained highway with paved roads
  • Conditions: Driving is generally smooth. Expect some traffic congestion as you leave Kathmandu and pass through towns.

Besisahar to Chame:

  • Road Type: Mixed terrain, including rough, unpaved sections
  • Conditions: After Besisahar, the road becomes increasingly rough and rugged. It is narrow, winding, and can be pretty bumpy. During the monsoon season (June to September), the road can be muddy and challenging due to landslides and rain.
  • Recommendation for Vehicle: Due to the rough terrain, we recommend using a 4WD jeep for this part of the journey. You can find public buses, but they may need to be more comfortable.

Tips for the Journey:

  • Hiring an experienced driver familiar with the terrain is crucial, especially for the Besisahar to Chame section.
  • Check weather conditions before starting your journey, particularly in the monsoon season.
  • Prepare by carrying snacks, water, and necessary supplies, as the route may have limited amenities.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and equipped with spare tires and tools for any issues on the rugged road.

What to see and Do along the way 

Highlight stops and scenic spots between Kathmandu and Chame.

  • Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)
  • Patan Durbar Square
  • Scenic Drive with views of terraced fields, rivers, and local villages
  • Gateway to Annapurna Circuit at Besisahar
  • Waterfalls and Rivers (Ngadi)
  • Terraced Fields and Local Culture (Bahundanda)
  • Stone Village with Suspension Bridges (Jagat)
  • Tal Village with Manaslu Range Views
  • Confluence Point and Tibetan Culture (Dharapani)
  • Hot Springs at Chame
  • Chame Village with views of Lamjung Himal
  • Apple Orchards and local apple products in Chame
  • Marshyangdi River
  • Numerous Waterfalls
  • Stunning Mountain Views (Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, Manaslu)
  • Traditional Local Villages
  • Buddhist Monasteries and Chortens

Chame Attractions and Beauty

Chame is a beautiful village at 8,760 feet in Nepal’s Manang district. Arriving here, you realize it is more than just a stop on the Annapurna Circuit trek. Surrounded by some of the world’s most stunning peaks, including Annapurna I, Annapurna II, and Lamjung Himal, the views are breathtaking.

Snow-capped peaks pierce the clear blue sky, creating a breathtaking scene that might leave you speechless. The beauty of Chame goes beyond its visuals. The fresh, crisp mountain air fills your lungs with each breath. This is a place where you can slow down and disconnect from the outside world. In the simple beauty of this remote village, you will find a profound sense of peace.

Conclusion

Reaching Chame, the starting point for your Annapurna adventure from Kathmandu, is an exciting journey!  Two options await you. For a slower, budget-friendly trip, you can choose the bus and Jeep (7-8 hours). This 7-8 hour odyssey unfolds the beauty of Nepal’s countryside, with vibrant villages and breathtaking Himalayan vistas keeping you company.

If speed and comfort are your priorities, a private jeep (9-11 hours) gets you there faster. Ultimately, the choice reflects your travel style. The bus and jeep option beckons if you crave a leisurely exploration with local flavor. A private jeep awaits if a quicker transfer to kick off your mountain pursuits is your priority.  So, whether you want to relax and enjoy the sights or zip ahead to your trek, there’s a perfect way to get to Chame!

FAQs

Can this trip be done in one day?

With an early morning departure, reaching Chame from Kathmandu in a single day is possible. However, this is a long and bumpy journey, so consider breaking it up with a night in Besisahar for a more comfortable experience.

How much does it cost to get from Kathmandu to Chame?

The cost will depend on your chosen mode of transportation. Sharing a jeep is generally the most affordable option, while hiring a private jeep is more expensive. Prices vary depending on the season and negotiation, so shopping around is wise.

Do I need any trekking permits to go to Chame? 

Yes, you will need the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) to trek in the Manang district, which includes Chame. You can obtain this trekking permit in Kathmandu at the Nepal Tourism Board office in Bhrikutimandap or Besisahar.

Where can I stay in Chame?

Chame offers a variety of teahouses and lodges catering to trekkers.  These provide basic but comfortable accommodation and meals.

What should I pack for Chame?

Being a high-altitude destination, Chame requires warm clothing, layers, sturdy hiking boots, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a headlamp—pack essentials like toiletries, medications (including altitude sickness medication), and a water bottle.

Is Chame an excellent place to acclimate to the Annapurna Circuit trek?

Yes, Chame is a great place to spend a day or two acclimatizing before venturing further on the Annapurna Circuit trek. The day helps you familiarize yourself with the increase in altitude and helps you prevent altitude sickness.

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